Aksazlar Koyu – a beautiful BBQ spot

IMG_6933 Aksazlar koyu (Aksazlar bay) is one of the many calm bays around the Fethiye peninsula.
It’s a beautiful place to sit, relax and look across to Fethiye town. To get to it you drive through the main town centre, past Ece Saray and along past the boatyard, Aksazlar koyu is the first beach, before Letoonia resort and the other bays. To get there by bus, look for the dolmus that goes along the main Fethiye town centre road with the orange front and the words Taşyaka-Karagözler on it.
IMG_6743 IMG_6745
It’s a private area, you have to pay an fee to enter which curiously varies each time we visit. It’s something like 10tl per car (but don’t quote me on that), but there have been times where we weren’t charged at all! There is a small beach area and a restaurant/bar. We’ve never used the restaurant so I can’t comment on the menu or prices, but I’ve never seen it busy. There are sunbeds available on the beach, along with large beanie cushions, hammocks and the more traditional shady köşks too, all at a price to rent, but again we’ve never used these so I’m not sure of the fee. They also have tents to hire and you can camp overnight in the great outdoors!

We bypass all of the above go to Aksazlar purely for the beautiful surroundings which makes it a perfect BBQ spot. If you drive straight past the restaurant and beach you’re greeted with a forest of tall pine trees providing much needed shaded that is very welcome in the summer months. There are little picnic tables dotted around the area where you can sit and eat, although there aren’t that many and they do get full quickly, especially on a Sunday afternoon when all the locals go for BBQ’s.
IMG_6747
It has been a favourite place of ours for years, the first time I went there was over 4 years ago with Berkay and his friends for our first BBQ picnic together back in January 2011! Its so peaceful just sitting watching the food grill, having a chat and listening to water lapping gently onto the shore. I love it. I have lots of photos of good memories made with different family members and friends there.
IMG_6942 IMG_6938
Good memories in the bay back in 2011 & 2012

There are only two bad things I can think to say about the place, one being the amount of wasps that are around, especially in the height of summer. The other bad thing is the disgusting state of the toilet facilities, nearly every time we’ve been (and we used to go alot) the toilets have been so bad that I walked in busting for a wee and walked straight out determined to hold off til we got home – not pleasant, and I expect clean toilets are something people look for when spending the day somewhere. I have heard that the restaurant is under new management, so perhaps they will improve things!

Aksazlar is a bit of a hidden gem, although it’s become a bit more well known recently with the arrival of the Bubble Sea Park – the loud, big, brightly coloured inflatable slides/play area on the sea. I have mixed feelings about this, no doubt it will bring in money to the restaurant business and hopefully this will enable them to improve the services, however it is a big eye sore and it ruins the atmosphere when you can hear the loud music and screams coming from that direction even from the other side of the bay. Locals in the area will tell you not to swim in the bay at all as it’s so close to the dockyard and the water becomes dirty from the oil and petrol from the boats, but tourists don’t seem to mind. Arguably it’s good for children, as it’s shallow for quite a way out and is very calm, but it’s certainly not the clear blue Mediterranean water that you might expect.
IMG_6932 IMG_6934
IMG_6935 IMG_6936
All in all it is a lovely place, we love it, in fact it was the first place we went when me, Berkay and Boncuk were all reunited back in April, yes Boncuk loves it too. It’s the perfect spot for a bbq in summer or winter, and a good place to spend the day and relax with yummy food while enjoying the view across the bay to Fethiye. Definitely worth a visit!
IMG_6750
IMG_6748

A day out at sea…

IMG_4142 IMG_4126
 We had planned to join a tour group from Berkay’s hotel and go on a free boat trip on Tuesday, but Berkay had to spend the day in his hometown in Denizli as a member of his family died suddenly, so we missed it. Instead, we went to Fethiye on Wednesday and booked a boat trip ourselves. We spent ages wandering around the marina trying to chose one, some were smaller and more expensive, others were cheaper but the food on offer wasn’t as good etc. Eventually we settled on one of the biggest boats in the marina area, Hanedan 2. I’d never been on a boat that big before, it holds up to 380 people at maximum capacity which is a lot! I usually prefer the smaller, more personal boats but they are often more expensive. The trip was advertised at 35tl including pick up and drop off’s, but we decided to make our own way to Fethiye and back and got the price down to 30tl each, which is around £8.50 each – a good deal I think.

We got to Fethiye at 10.15am, after a quick stop off at the fishing shop so that Berkay could buy some bait – he’s got his own rod and used to go fishing for his dinner most days in the winter.  I was pleasantly suprised at how empty the boat was – there were around 70 people on board in total but it was so large it didn’t seem like there were that many at all.  I was worried we wouldn’t be able to get a sun cushion on the top deck but we did manage to grab the last two – obviously they do not have anywhere near enough for the maximum capacity of people. While we were grabbing our spaces Berkay realised that four guests from the hotel he works at were also on board – they’re Turkish and he’s known them for years, they return to the hotel every year and have become good friends of his, what a coincidence that we ended up on the same boat!
IMG_4092  IMG_4110 IMG_4115 IMG_4112
At 10.30am the engine started, and the boat headed out of the marina, along with many more others – it was quite funny to see boats of all shapes and sizes headed off in the same direction towards the islands.
IMG_4097 IMG_4101
T
he boat itself was really nice, although it could do with a repaint. The bottom of the boat was entirely shaded with lots of tables to sit at and a bar in the middle. Underneath were the toilets which were actually a lot nicer than any boat toilets I’d come across in the past – 6 individual cubicals, one shower and 3 changing rooms for the girls, and the same I assume for the boys. The top deck of the boat was mainly open and in direct sunlight, with lots of soft sun cushions to lay on. The best part about the boat for me was the built in water slide  – it ran through the whole boat and into the sea – it was great fun. There was music playing while sailing but it wasn’t too loud and it certainly wasn’t a ‘party boat’.

There was a man walking around the boat dressed up like a pirate with his pet parrot – weird. He went up to random unsuspecting sunbathers and put this parrot on their feet, hands, head… if he had come near me I would have jumped out of my skin! It was a beautiful parrot and really well behaved, but I’m not a bird fan, when he started flapping his wings I couldn’t even watch, it made me go all cold, eugh. I did want to have a photo done with it, but after a while he disappeared downstairs into the cabin and I didn’t see him again. There was a photographer walking around the boat taking photos of everyone, sunbathing, jumping in the sea, etc, but we know from experience that these photos are very expensive – they charge around 50tl for a copy of the CD of your photos – they were good quality, but not worth it for us. If you were worried about taking a camera on board and leaving it there whilst you were swimming etc, and felt more comfortable with having someone else take your photos instead it’s a good idea, I guess.
IMG_4135 IMG_4108
10390946_10152983106138776_7692899370279260140_n IMG_4093
W
e stopped off at an island for 45 minutes before lunch and Berkay done some fishing, then we both went in for a swim – the water was fairly warm and so calm.  He managed to catch a couple of fish – the first was a really pretty multi-coloured fish, which he threw back in, and the second was some kind of flat fish which we planned to take home to eat. On later inspection and confirmation from the man at the fish market, we realised that it didn’t have much meat on it and wouldn’t be worth it, so we took it home, cooked it and gave it to our dog instead, at least it wasn’t wasted!
IMG_4121 IMG_4123
After the first stop, we sailed for another 35 minutes and done some sunbathing (resulting in sunburn, ouch!). It was then time to make another stop at another island and have some lunch. Lunch was included in the ticket price, but all drinks and other snacks were extra.  We were all asked when boarding what we wanted for lunch: fish, kofte or chicken, and given little cards with our choice on. The staff came around the tables and asked for our cards which they exchanged for a plate of food – I’d have prefered an open buffet with more choices, but the food was nice regardless. It consisted of our choice of meat, pasta, salad and a bread roll, followed by watermelon.  After letting our food go down for a while, I had another quick swim, and Berkay carried on fishing.
IMG_4113
 IMG_4118
An hour later, it was time to sail to our next stop – Pig Island. By this point I was finally feeling brave enough to try out the waterslide and was so glad I did because it was great fun! You can’t tell from the photos, but the first part of the slide was a really steep drop, I don’t think my bum even touched the slide it was like free-falling! Then it leveled out and went through to the other side of the boat and ended up splashing into the sea, I loved it! The photos of me tying it out are pretty amusing, check out the goggles, oh the joys of wearing contact lenses! I went on this slide about 30 times in total, Berkay was fishing and I was bored so I just kept going down the slide, swimming to the steps, climbing back up and going again – such a big kid!
IMG_4078 IMG_4117
F
or the braver people, there was a step on the top deck that you could dive or jump off from – it was terrifying, it must have been around 25-30ft high. I’d jumped off one on a smaller boat before, but this was just too high, I didn’t even attempt it. Berkay dived from it though! I couldn’t even bring myself to jump in from the lowest deck – Berkay got a photo of me attempting it, I was holding my nose and about to jump off but just couldn’t. It was only around 10ft, what a wuss!IMG_4085 IMG_4107
I can’t remember if we made another one, or two stops after that, but the final stop was rabbit Island, appropriately named because there are hundreds of rabbits resident there, if you’re lucky you can sometimes see them all come out when the boats leave them some leftover salad – cute. We didn’t see any this time though. Berkay was asleep at this point as he’d been at work all night and was tired, so I spent most of the time alone. The boat had anchored close enough that we could walk off the ramp onto the island and I went exploring on my own – it was really pretty and so peaceful as there were no other boats around.
IMG_4138 IMG_4137IMG_4140 IMG_4139
A
fter stopping there for around 45minutes and going down the slide a few more times, it was time to head back to Fethiye. Berkay was asleep in the shade on the lower deck and I’d had enough of the sun so I sat down there and joined him. We got back to Fethiye around  6.20pm, so it was a whole 8 hours we had on the boat – but it always goes so quickly!

I had a really lovely day, I just love being out at sea, it’s so relaxing, I definitely have sea legs! I love the swaying of the boat and all the beautiful scenery, there are so many beautiful islands and bays around the area. I’d go on a boat trip every day if I could! Just look how beautiful and calm the sea is? Nature at it’s finest.
IMG_4103 IMG_4104  IMG_4119 IMG_4130
I
f anyone is in the area and wants to check out the Hanedan 2 boat, you can visit it’s website here, or pay it a visit along the marina, just past Address restaurant in Fethiye.